AAA Sox get well vs. Sheridan
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, BryantDaily.com will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
You never know . . .
Coming into their Tuesday contest at Bryant Field, the Bryant Black Sox and Sheridan Yellowjackets AAA American Legion teams seemed to be going in opposite directions. The Sox, after losing two in a row and three of their last four, had taken four days off. They came in 3-3 against Zone IV opponents. The Jackets, winners of five of their last seven games, had a league-leading 4-1 mark in Zone IV.
In the end, however, it was Sheridan that struggled as Bryant lefty Derek Chambers pitched a five-hit shutout and the Sox took advantage of nine Sheridan errors — including six in a nine-run fourth inning — for a 14-0 win in five innings.
Chambers improved to 2-0 on the season and lowered his earned run average (unofficially) to 2.21. He fanned two and didn’t allow a walk.
The Sox hammered out 11 hits including three by Matt White and two each by B.J. Wood and Jeff Carpenter.
Wood led off the bottom of the first with his first hit, a single to left. White followed with a base hit to left that was bobbled by Sheridan outfielder Jared Winston. Wood alertly hustled on to third, drawing a late throw as White, likewise, busted it to second. Wood took off from first on contact as Cody Graddy bounced to shortstop Zak Chumney. He scored easily. Chumney, who charged the ball, looked home, then faked a throw to first in hopes of catching White straying off the second base bag. But White held tight and all hands were safe.
It stayed 1-0 until the Bryant third. Chambers had escaped Sheridan’s biggest threat in the top of the inning when, with runners at first and second, he got clean-up hitter Zach Barnett to pop out to Andrew Norman at second.
Carpenter got things rolling for Bryant in the home half of the inning, scorching a single up the middle. Wood singled to left setting things up for White. After he missed on a bunt attempt, the Sheridan infield was on the move when White squared again. This time, however, the runners took off, White pulled back and cued a grounder into the vacant shortstop spot. As Chumney scrambled after the ball, Carpenter hustled around third and scored, beating a throw in the dirt that got past catcher Stan Mosley. Wood and White took advantage by advancing to second and third.
Graddy followed with a sacrifice fly to left to make it 3-0. White scored when Kevin Littleton’s slow roller to short drew an errant throw then Chambers dropped a double down the right field line for an RBI to make it 5-0.
Matteo Vannucci, who had two of Sheridan’s five hits, singled to open the top of the fourth and, two outs later, Robby Daniel reached on an error, but Chambers ended the threat there by striking out Brian Bull.
Barnett, the Sheridan ace, relieved in the bottom of the inning and the Yellowjackets — and the score — blew up. Norman and Carpenter greeted the new hurler with base hits. Wood’s sacrifice fly made it 6-0. White singled in a run then Graddy walked and Littleton reached on an infield hit to load the bases.
Chambers grounded into a force at second as White scored and when a relay throw to first was off the mark, so did Graddy.
Chambers, who wound up at second, scored when A.J. Nixon’s fly to right was misplayed. Clay Jones doubled him home to make it 11-0. Four more Sheridan errors and a walk produced three more Bryant runs.
The error epidemic appeared to be catching when Wood couldn’t handle a grounder to start the top of the fifth, but the next batter grounded to Norman at second and the Sox turned a doubleplay. Chase Buie then bounced out to Wood to end the game.
Bryant improved to 17-8 overall this season with the win, 4-3 in Zone play going into Wednesday’s game at Pine Bluff.